Wisdom of the Saints about the Sacrament of Confession (part 6)

“As the man whom the priest baptizes is enlightened by the grace of the Holy Ghost, so does he who in penance confesses his sins, receive through the priest forgiveness in virtue of the grace of Christ.” St. Athanasius (3rd-4th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

“It is not enough to remove the arrow from the body; we also have to heal the wound caused by the arrow. It is the same with the soul. After we have received forgiveness for our sins, we have to heal the wound that remains through penance.” St. John Chrysostom (4th-5th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

“No matter how weak you are, do not think that what you need to do in order to enjoy His redemption is impossible or so difficult that you have to despair of obtaining it. It is enough for you to direct a heartfelt sigh to God, with sorrow for having offended such a Father and with the intention of amendment. Make known your sins to a priest who can absolve you. For your greater consolation, even your ears of flesh will hear the sentence of your trial in what is said to you: ‘I absolve you from all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’.” St. John of Avila (16th century, Doctor of the Church)

“Next, I would not like you ever to go to bed at night without first seeing in yourself whether you are conscious of offense against God, so that if you feel guilty of mortal sin, from which God preserve you, you may resolve to cancel it so soon as possible by means of the sacrament of Penance. You must recall that this is always necessary if you have to be sorry for anything, but you must never, for that, wait for a fixed time such as Easter, because no one can promise you that you will live till then.” St. Aloysius Gonzaga (16th century)

“We must tell the fact, the motive, and the duration of our sins. For though we are not bound to be so punctilious in the declaration of our venial sins, nor even absolutely obliged to confess them, yet those who desire to cleanse their souls perfectly and attain to holy devotion, must be careful to make their spiritual physician acquainted with the evil of which they desire to be cured, no matter how small it may be.” St. Francis de Sales (16th-17th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

“It is not enough for penitents to make up their minds to renounce sin, it is necessary also to remove the occasions of it; otherwise all their confessions, though they should receive a thousand absolutions, will be invalid. Not to remove the proximate occasion of mortal sin is in itself a mortal sin.” St. Alphonsus Liguori (17th-18th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

“My children, when we have a little stain on our souls, we must do like someone who has a beautiful crystal globe of which she takes great care. If the globe gets a little dusty, when she sees it, she will pass a sponge over it, and there is the globe bright and shining again.” St. John Vianney (18th-19th centuries)

“Man sins, my children; but if he has not in his first moment lost the faith, he runs, he hastens, he flies, to seek a remedy for his ill; he cannot soon enough find the tribunal of penance, where he can recover his happiness.” St. John Vianney (18th-19th centuries)

“The Sacrament of Penance is the masterpiece of God’s goodness.  By it our weakness is fortified.” Ven. Pope Pius XII (19th-20th centuries)

“So long as we continue our attachment to evil, forgiveness is impossible; it is as simple as the law which says that living in the deep recesses of a cave makes sunlight unavailable to us. Pardon is not automatic – to receive it, we have to make ourselves pardonable. The proof of our sorrow over having offended is our readiness to root out the vice that caused the offense.” Ven. Fulton Sheen (19th-20th centuries)